74 - Teen Mystery Club


Running from what you believe to be a monster behind your team of fellow tenacious teenagers and you trip a loose stone on the ground. Your bulky sweater protects your upper body from the cobblestone floor, and your knee-high socks prevent any stingy scraped knees, but your glasses fly far from your head, and you are blind in the musty hallway of an abandoned castle.

“Guys, wait up!” you shout after the others, but you hear their rapid footfalls grown more and more quiet. Your friends have abandoned you. You get to your hands and knees and pat the ground frantically for your errant eyewear. Before your search is complete however, you hear slow, heavy footsteps behind you. The monster!

“Stay right there,” the monster orders in a gruff yet weary voice. He steps over you and walks several steps past, then returns and extends a tentacle toward you. “Here.”

“What?” you ask, befuddled by the civility of this Lovecraftian horror.

“I assume these glasses belong to you? Take them.”

You reach toward a black blob at the tip of his tentacles and grip your glasses. Placing them on your face, the monster comes into focus. You see before you a tall, purple creature with two long tentacles, large bug eyes, a gaping black maw, and two bouncy, sparkly antennae. Something is off about it though, and you notice that his feet are furry. In fact, the entire body of the creature is covered with some sort of…is that felt? You examine the gaping maw more closely – you see a pair of human eyes behind a screen.

“You’re not a monster!” you proclaim.

“Of course I’m not a monster,” the not-monster replies, clearly annoyed. He appears on the verge of an angry outburst, but instead he takes a deep breath. “Calm. Calm. They’re only kids,” he says to himself. Then, to you, I’m Phil. What are you doing in my house, little girl?”

“We’re solving the mystery!”

Ugh,” groans Phil. “What the hell are you talking about?”

You perk up at the chance to explain yourself. “People keep saying some crazy monster is running people off from this abandoned castle!”

“You mean the burglars that broke into my house?”

“You live here?”

“Look, it’s a big place. Maintenance is expensive. It’s all I can afford to keep the lights on in this place.”

“Lights? All you have here is torches.”

“Yeah, and do you have any idea how expensive kerosene is these days? No, you don’t, because you’re twelve and you don’t have a job.”

You recoil at Phil’s assumption. “Um, excuse me, Phil, I’m seventeen. Wait, why the heck are you dressed like that? Why did we hear you groaning like a monster?”

“What I do in my bedroom is my business, young lady. Let’s go find your friends.”

The police arrive and Phil presses charges. He tells you it’s nothing personal, but he can’t have kids breaking into his castle every weekend, now can he? Phil suggests you find better friends, and a hobby that doesn’t involve trespassing.